We sat down with Charlie Rowlands to learn more about 78m Amaryllis and why this charter yacht is all about exclusivity.
From ski boats and dinghies to catamaran sailing and racing, it’s fair to say that Captain Charlie Rowlands was raised on the water.
“Don’t forget the windsurfing! I grew up in the northwest of England, spending summers in North Wales, and took to the water at every opportunity,” begins Charlie, who now captains the 78m superyacht, Amaryllis. “University wasn’t an idea that interested me. When I discovered there was a career to be had in yachting, I set about attaining my Yacht Master,” says Charlie, who also points out the training he undertook in a cold January on the Solent, UK, was a long way removed from the Antiguan dream he had in mind.
“I got my first job later that year  and joined a 100ft sailing yacht, SY Never Say Never, which had been designed by Ron Holland. I was only a temp, but that was enough for me – I never looked back!”
Charlie has now been a Captain for over 20 years, running notable yachts such as the 108ft SY Shamoun (designed by Hoek), and the 45m Salperton (designed by Dubois). “I oversaw the build and delivery of two powerful, sloop-rigged sailing yachts for the Salperton owner,” adds Charlie.
Charlie’s move to motor yachts came with the captaincy of Feadship’s 43m GO. “It was a great introduction to that side of the industry,” says Charlie. “I had done 20 years on sailing yachts, and it was time for a change.” Three and a half years later, Charlie stepped up and stepped aboard 72m MY Axioma, built by Dunya Yachts. “That was a great program,” Charlie recalls. “A super busy yacht with a super crew dynamic.”
Step forward to February 2023, and Charlie’s appointment as Captain of Amaryllis which, after spending the last few years based in Florida and chartering throughout the Bahamas, made a return to the Mediterranean for the 2023 summer season.
“For a yacht of such large volume, Amaryllis has been very cleverly designed,” tells Charlie. “She’s modern without being cold, offers privacy while remaining unencumbered, and her exterior spaces are supremely stylish.” Charlie describes the yacht’s interior as elegant, with a classic French belle epoque era styling, “It’s a distinguished feel – she’s luxurious and exclusive,” adds Charlie.
Amaryllis has had the same owner since new, and Charlie points out the value in having had the same management company for this duration. “There’s no expense spared, and I have top-level support. It makes the day-to-day operations so much easier,” comments Charlie.
When it comes to the yacht’s amenities, Charlie finds the gym and spa always particularly popular with guests. “Amaryllis was well ahead of its time in that regard,” explains Charlie. “It was one of the first yachts to have an Asian spa with plunge pool, steam room, massage space and gym together in one area. The aft of the main deck, with its view over the beach club is another popular spot, as is the sun deck and, in the evenings, everyone heads to the piano lounge before dinner.”
“I have to mention our Chefs as well,” says Charlie. “We have two Head Chefs onboard and they operate at an incredible level. Geoff is French and Tom is British, both are commercially trained and have worked alongside some of the most recognised chefs in the world. They have tremendous range with global cuisine, so we can offer guests anything and everything on board.”
“Amaryllis is best suited to experienced charterers,” continues Charlie. “Those seeking privacy and exclusivity, not those wanting large or flashy parties. Amaryllis is an important aspect of the owner’s lifestyle, an extension of the family, and the right charter clients will respect this environment.”
“We offer a truly personalised luxury experience that’s adapted to each client. We make a point of highlighting all the amenities on board and the experiences on offer, as well as excursions ashore, to ensure guests get the most out of their stay,” explains Charlie. For experienced charterers or those who’ve been aboard Amaryllis before, Charlie and his team are able to accommodate requests with a less visible presence, working behind the scenes to deliver the charter experience they know is desired.
Charlie expects high standards from his team and draws on his own experience working with other captains and different owners to help best lead the crew. “I’ve always tried to share my knowledge and help crew see the big picture. I want to help them grow in the positions they hold and that way, when the time comes that I need them most and their instincts at their sharpest, I know they won’t let the program down.”
Amaryllis has a highly experienced, multinational crew led by long-standing heads of department. “We have scuba diving instructors, certified pilots, personal trainers and even racing car drivers amongst us! We’ve got some great personalities onboard and our crew were chosen not just for their abilities and experience, but for their character, demeanour, and ability to find enjoyment in this working environment,” says Charlie.
Charlie continues to be inspired by the destinations Amaryllis visits and cites Corsica as a firm favourite. “When the weather is settled, northwest Corsica is tough to beat. Luka Polace in Mljet, Croatia, is one of my favourite places to anchor. For marine life and water sports, however, the Exumas in the Bahamas are always a winner.”